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ABC News Nightline Confronting a Genetic Legacy


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(May 17, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Imagine you were told that you carry a gene that makes it all but certain you will one day get breast cancer, ovarian cancer or both. What would you do? Jessica Queller, a 35-year-old writer for the hit series "Gilmore Girls," has had to answer that question. In 2004, she found out that she carries the BRCA1 gene mutation, or, the breast cancer gene. According to one study, possessing that gene means she has an 85 percent chance of developing breast cancer before the age of 70 and a 50 percent chance of developing it before the age of 50. Queller took the test because her mother had recently died of ovarian cancer, and several years earlier had fought and beaten breast cancer. Queller now knows what her mother never did, and now she is left in a place where modern science has told her what she has, but not what to do about it. Queller, who is single and hopes to have children one day, has had to make several tough choices about how to thwart the cancer she may be destined to get, including deciding to have both of her breasts removed before ever being diagnosed with breast cancer.

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